Red States Rising
By BETSY MCCAUGHEY
What do Stockton, Calif., and Detroit, Mich., tell us about the future of American politics? These two cities, which have both petitioned for bankruptcy, are grim illustrations of how big-government policies are dooming part of the nation. And they are living proof of the policies Republicans should not embrace.
Red states are rising. But blue states, shackled withexorbitant union demands and pension obligations, high taxes and anti-fossil-fuel policies, are sinking.Americans are fleeing these Democratic bastions, uprooting their families and resettling in areas with economic opportunity.
That mass migration means ever more power for the GOP, which already controls 30 state governorships. As more people move, the GOP will dominate Congress and the electoral college. The biggest mistake the GOP could make now would be to abandon its current policies in the wake of recent electoral losses.
Folks are voting with their feet to live in areas that are low-tax, pro-business and allow job-producing fossil-fuel production.The Census shows that from 2000 to 2010,Americans fled Democratic-controlled East Coast, West Coast and Great Lakes states.
The population shift continues, and the biggest population losers are New York, California and Illinois.The eight states where the most Americans are choosing to relocate are Florida, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Tennessee. All have GOP governors.
Chief Executive magazine gave every one of these states a high grade for business-friendly policies and labeled Massachusetts, Illinois, New York and California the states with the worst business policies.
The Southeast, Gulf Coast, Rocky Mountain states and Great Plains are what Joel Kotkin of the Manhattan Institute calls “pro-growth corridors.” Right now, these four pro-growth areas make up only 30 percent of the population, but that figure will rise rapidly.
Newcomers to the US are also flocking to these pro-growth regions because of the opportunities. Republicans should take note before recklessly concluding, as a recent report on the party’ prospects does, that the GOP needs to change its message to immigrants. The pro-business messaging of the GOP governors is not keeping immigrants away. Between 2000 and 2010, the foreign-born populations of Charlotte and Nashville doubled, Kotkin says, and the foreign-born populations of Tampa and Atlanta increased 50 percent.
The evidence is even stronger that the GOP should not tamper with its pro-fossil-fuelenergy policy.It’s a winner. Americans are moving in droves to fossil-fuel-producing states. In contrast, California, which refuses to develop its gas and oil reserves, and New York, which foolishly delays fracking to create jobs in its impoverished upstate counties, are losing population and will likely lose congressional seats and electoral votes in 2020.
The recent report on the Republican Party examined its “failures,” but the truth is, the steady movement of Americans to Republican states proves that the party is on the rise. Sadly, theGOP bosses behind the 2012 presidential campaign didn’t stress how the red-state policies could restore growth on a national level.Or the message got lost.
In the wake of November’s presidential loss, Republicans are eyeing Democratic principles. They’re whining about CEOs making too much money and how Reagan’s principles are out of date.Nonsense. Low-tax, small-government policies are precisely what’s driving the red-state boom.
Nor should Republicans back away from their defense of the Constitution and personal liberty against government intrusion. And forget about hiring Hispanicand African-American communications directors for each state. Democrats are about hiring quotas; the GOP stands for hiring and voting for people based on the content of their character.
If the GOP wants to know how to win, it should just ask the winners: theRepublican governors.They’re the ones presiding over the rise of the Republican Party.
Betsy McCaughey is a former Lt. Governor of New York and author of “Beating Obamacare.”